April 16th, 2010
05:19 PM ET

Thai PM hands security control to military

Thailand's prime minister handed security operations entirely to the country's military Friday after three anti-government protest leaders' bold escape from a hotel surrounded by security forces.

"The important problem now is the terrorism," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said, referring to what authorities say is a terrorist group mixing among protesters. He spoke in a televised broadcast after three days of silence amid the tumult in his country.

The prime minister also acknowledged that "police forces were trying to capture some of the Red Shirt leaders, but it was not successful." He admitted that many government efforts failed.

The chief of the Center for the Resolution of Emergency Situations will be Army Chief General Anupong Paochinda instead of Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaungsuban, he said.

Earlier, while Thai security authorities surrounded a Bangkok hotel, three men were lowered from a third-floor window and fled in a waiting truck - even as security forces searched the hotel. Police said two officers were left with them to carry out negotiations, a development officials with the protesters confirmed.

Read the full CNN.com story

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